Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

January 8, 2023 - The Epiphany of the Lord

Next Sunday:  Second Sunday in Ordinary Time                 Celebrant :  Fr. Tharp

Pope Benedict XVI


At the time of the writing of this bulletin article, retired Pope Benedict XVI is gravely ill.  Since Pope Francis has succeeded the retired Pope Benedict, his death will NOT trigger a new Conclave of Cardinals, but it will be marked as a time of grieving for the faithful between the time of his death and the time of his burial.  All are encouraged to remember Pope Benedict in your prayers.


Disciple Maker Index


With the approval of both the St. Ann and Sacred Heart Parish Councils and with the strong recommendation of the Archdiocesan Beacons of Light leadership, we will be participating in a parish-wide survey about discipleship conducted by the Catholic Leadership Institute, a non-profit Catholic apostolate that does leadership training and development.  The results of this survey will become a major resource of parishioner opinion and data for the forward migration of discussions as to how we assimilate two parishes into one “Family” still utilizing two church buildings and two schools, but sharing the same pastoral vision and goals.   From my perspective, it is a priority that the unique intangible treasure of each parish not be lost in some attempt at homogenization.  We must not squander the uniqueness of each community, but lift it up as important in the new whole.  However, accomplishing this task will require each nuclear family in both parishes to embrace and articulate the components that will form the essence of the new whole.


 I am therefore imploring (begging) each family in St. Ann and each family in Sacred Heart to complete a 10-15 minute survey.  The survey will only be available from January 21- February 27 and will ask you to reflect on your own spiritual growth and enable you to provide feedback on what our parish is doing (or not doing) to help you grow spiritually.  It will be available online and in paper format with more instructions to follow.  All responses will be confidential and the parish will only receive information about the community as whole.


The survey results will be invaluable to me as pastor and to every parishioner committee member working on this project as we seek ways to best support everyone in their discipleship journey.  Additional details are in this bulletin.


Application for Director of Evangelization for the St. Ann/Sacred Heart Family


The cut off for receiving applications was 11:59 p.m. Monday, January 2, 2023.  At the time this is written, we have six (6) applicants to consider.   The search committee is in process of review.


Catholic History Podcast

Dr. Kevin Schmiesing, co-host of the Sunrise Morning Show on Sacred Heart Radio has asked us to inform you of his new podcast.

Interested in learning more about our Catholic heritage? The Catholic History Trek podcast covers a wide range of topics: the history of Catholic schools, foods, and prayers; religious orders such as the Franciscans and Norbertines; the Mass and liturgical music; the origins of Catholicism in each of the fifty states; and much more. It is co-hosted by Scott Schulze and Kevin Schmiesing and available on all popular podcast platforms such as Spotify, Google, and Apple, with some video episodes also available on YouTube.


Eucharistic Display created by Blessed Carlo Acutis


The Women of Faith group is sponsoring Eucharistic Miracle posters created by Blessed Carlo Acutis, who died of Leukemia at age 15, but had created a website displaying these accumulated Eucharistic miracles from throughout the world.  There is little doubt that when canonized, he will almost certainly become the patron of the internet and social media.  Remember that the three stages or “cause of sainthood”  to having one’s name placed on the “list” or “canon” of Saints in Rome starts with the title “Venerable, “ moves to the title “Blessed, ” and then after miraculous interventions is verified by the Holy See, the pope may name the person to the “list” or “canon” of titled “Saint.” 


To encourage especially the young to take note of these posters, the Women together have created a raffle for those who take note of each poster throughout the next year. 


Re-introduction of Precious Blood at Communion


We believe we have distributors lined up for two cups at all three Sunday morning Masses at Sacred Heart.  For the time being we only have distributors for the cup at the 11:00 a.m. Mass at St. Ann.  Again, we can only do this to the degree we have enough Eucharistic ministers willing to do cups at the various precept Masses. 




I keep running this article because there are new scams everyday


Remember I NEVER solicit funds, donations, favors, or any request of any kind over the telephone, text, email, carrier pigeon, drone, etc.   NEVER!  Do not allow yourself to be taken in by scammers.  Even if they have my recorded voice, be assured it is computer generated fake!  It is not me!!!  


Reminder for volunteers who work with or around children


Please be aware that failure to register with and complete the requirements of Safe Parish will result in your inability to continue to work with or around children in any parish and/or school setting.  We have been informed by the Archdiocese that there can be NO EXCEPTIONS.


Live Streaming for Precept Masses


Please remember to access the Sacred Heart / St. Ann Pastoral Region You Tube site by clicking on the following link:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVLLqbEY5hKWinwz069MVcg



Reflection on Scripture:


Today we celebrate the Epiphany.  Tomorrow (Monday) we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord, the end of the Christmas Season.  Actually, we always celebrate the Baptism of the Lord as the First Sunday in Ordinary Time.  Confused?   Well Christmas (December 25) fell on a Sunday.  This meant that the Feast of the Holy Family, usually celebrated on the Sunday after Christmas, had to be celebrated on Friday, December 30; since New Year’s Day, the Feast of Mary the Mother of God must take place on Sunday, January 1, 2023.  To allow for the twelve days of Christmas, Epiphany should be on Friday, January 6; but the Epiphany is a Solemnity, while the Baptism of the Lord is liturgically a Feast.   Therefore, the Epiphany is celebrated on the closest Sunday, January 8 and the Baptism of the Lord is celebrated the following Monday; ending the Christmas Season.


So what is so important about the Epiphany?   These three non-Jewish travelers come from a great distance to find the newborn King of the Jews.  On the surface, you might say,”So what’s the big deal?”  But remember that Sacred Scripture provides continuity to the history of God’s interaction with his people.  Remember that in the Book of Genesis, Noah has three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.  Shem was to have fathered all Europeans.  Ham was to have fathered all Africans. And Japheth was to have fathered all Asians.  Thus the Magi bearing three gifts represent all the three continents of people (in other words every human being) coming to recognize their God, incarnate as a baby born in Bethlehem of Judah.  The word “Catholic” means “universal.”  Jesus is the Savior of everyone in the World.   


By the time Matthew’s Gospel was written, the Early Church had spread far beyond the boundaries of Israel.  Matthew is writing his gospel directed to people of Jewish ancestry.  The startling event of the visit from the Magi would have reminded them of the three sons of Noah, and how now all the people of the earth were coming to recognize Jesus as the Son of God.  This is the epiphany for the world. 


NEXT WEEK Second Sunday in Ordinary Time 


Is 49:3, 5-6

1 Cor 1:1-3

Jn 1:29-34


Theme: Jesus is the Son of God!



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